Though it’s been an extremely mild winter so far, we are still at least two or three months away from any consistently warm riding conditions. Yet, these are the weeks cyclists should use to prepare so they can begin the 2021 riding season as soon as possible.
While we do understand that many cyclists continue riding well into the winter months, and perhaps throughout the winter, we also acknowledge that many of us are fair weather enthusiasts who reserve the bulk of our riding for more temperate conditions. Those of us who ride mainly in spring, summer and early fall have, by now, been off the bike for several weeks, if not months.
That means some off-season, indoor training is in order. Hopefully, you have a trainer, a stationary bike, or some other means of maintaining the physical fitness acquired during the prime riding weather. (If not, click here for some local options.) In order to have a relatively seamless transition into the riding season, it’s necessary to do some winter training. And, while a trainer or stationary bike help our muscles remember the repetitive motions of cycling, they aren’t necessary for preserving fitness. Walking, jogging, swimming, calisthenics and other activities will suffice. Staying active will benefit your early season efforts.
Something to think about during those arduous trainer rides is the condition of one’s bicycle following a season full of regular mileage. Bicycle parts are made of steel and are extremely durable. But, certain parts do wear out quicker than others.
Chains and rear gear cassettes, as well as brake pads, tubes, and tires, suffer the most erosion. A brand new bike may shift incorrectly after a few rides. But, that’s just because the brake and shifting cables stretch, requiring professional adjustment. Latitude 45 offers customers free brake and shifting adjustments for one year on new bicycles, post-purchase. We also offer a free basic tune-up within a year of purchase.
But, those who own bicycles that are more than a year old may need one of our professional tune-ups. During a basic or full tune-up, our expert mechanics scrutinize your bike, inspecting each mechanical facet for wear-and-tear, as well as smooth, proper operation. Chains and cassettes may need replaced. Tires may be worn. Your bottom bracket may be shot. Latitude 45 mechanics are meticulous professionals who’ll ensure your bike is trustworthy.
It’s super important to make sure your bike and your children’s bikes are properly maintained and safe to operate. Your lives may depend on it. That’s why we recommend booking pre-season service appointments now – before the spring rush. Simply visit www.latitude45.com, click on services and book an appointment that fits your schedule. But, hurry! Booking a winter appointment means you’ll avoid a long wait when the weather starts to warm!
Another item for consideration is your future gear requirements. The pandemic has yielded numerous supply chain problems, and Latitude 45 has not been spared these inconveniences. Items we’d normally stock have been sometimes hard to get, again bringing long, frustrating waits and sometimes no product availability whatsoever.
We recommend that if you see something you like/need in the shop, or at latitude45.com, you should go ahead and make that purchase. Now that might sound like slick salesmanship to some, but it’s actually a practical solution in this era of supply chain breakdown and scarce merchandise. We also remind customers that about 95 percent of the shop merchandise is for sale in our online store – not just for Northerm Michigan residents, but the entire world! So something you see and like today may not be there tomorrow – or even 30 seconds later! Decisive action will ensure you get the gear you need to have a successful season.
Always remember that our friendly staff is extremely knowledgeable about most cycling-related things – particularly mechanical issues. Our goal is not to sell you the most expensive bike, gear or repair. Rather, we want to set you up for success by sharing with you the real information about bicycles and cycling. We want to sell you the bike and gear that are right for YOU – not us. That’s how we earn and keep your trust.